Forever outspoken, System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan has taken to social media to insist that the COVID-19 pandemic “has always been about money.”

On Sunday, February 27th, Dolmayan shared a Pokémon COVID meme to his Instagram, accompanied by thoughts on the virus, money, and Ukraine.

“And just like that covid will slowly go away,” he wrote. “This is and has always been about money, covid was about money, Ukraine is about money. Resources equal wealth, stability, and power. There’s a game of chess being played by those in the real positions of power and we’d like to think we’re the pawns but the truth is we’re not even on the board.”

Fans were immediately conflicted in the comments. “I don’t think money was the reason for covid but ppl who wanted to exploit it for money definitely saw that they could and did so,” considered someone. “Finally someone who understands,” agreed another. “It seems most of the world’s population is hypnotised and does not realize about this. No matter if we tell them, they remain blind. Fear of assuming responsibilities? Maybe.”

When another of his followers stated that, “if it was about money then shops would have stayed open. Small business went bankrupt because of covid, it was never about money it was about saving lives,” Dolmayan hit back: “Do you have any idea how much money Amazon made during Covid? Not to mention pharmaceutical companies ? Of course it’s about money.”

It’s certainly not the first attention-grabbing Dolmayan quote. The drummer has previously been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, supporting the former president’s claim that his administration had done more for the African-American community “than any president since Abraham Lincoln.” He also defended Trump and stated that his opponents “perpetuated and instigated a total shutdown of the economy.”

Dolmayan’s opinions have drawn such controversy that his bandmate – and brother-in-law – Serj Tankian felt the need to address their relationship. “We’re very good friends, we’re family, and he’s my drummer in my band, so, of course, we’ve talked about many, many different things, including political views,” he said in an interview last year.

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“When you don’t agree with someone after a while about a certain topic… look, it doesn’t mean that we don’t agree about other stuff. We agree a lot about Armenian stuff, for example, a lot about family stuff, a lot of other things, a lot of personal stuff. But when it comes to American politics, we happen to be on the polar opposite ends of it, and we’re both very passionate and vehement about our views, which is fine.”

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